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October 2023


HNSP Residential Training Returns

In early October, 22 Hydro Nation Scholars gathered at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen for the first in-person Residential Training course since 2019. The two-day course entitled “Translating Research into Policy and Practice” combined presentations by internal and external speakers and Hydro Nation Alumni, case studies, and practical work to learn about and explore the process of sharing knowledge, evidence, ideas and expertise with non-academic communities effectively to feed into policy development and support positive change. The programme was tailored around four general sessions: Knowledge Exchange, Impact, Digital and Audiovisual Tools, and Science for Policy. The HNSP Residential Course 2023 not only provided training in translating research into policy and practice, but also an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the first 10 years of the HNSP, its achievements, legacy, and impact, as well as its contribution to the wider HN strategy and ambitions.


Hydro Nation Scholar Recognised for Accomplishments, Knowledge Exchange

On 8th September 2023, Hydro Nation Scholar, Sarah Crowe (University of Dundee), received a commendation in the Climate Creatives Challenge #3. This is a series of design challenges to help support new and novel approaches for communicating the impacts of climate change and the benefits of adaptation, mitigation and resilience. For this challenge, entrants had to pick a historic environment or building and communicate how it could be impacted by climate change and how it could be made more resilient. The judges were looking for entrants to explore ways of communicating the topic which go beyond the traditional formats in which it is typically represented and share place-based narratives that link to and showcase contextual stories and experiences. Entrants also had to consider how their entry connects with people and/or organisations that aren’t necessarily aware or engaged with this topic and not just focus on the hazard but show the actions that can be taken to change the consequences faced. Sarah’s entry can be found on page 46 of the compendium:

Later in September, Sarah presented her PhD research entitled "Participatory GIS for Flood Mitigation on the Dundee Waterfront" at the SPACE International Conference 2023 on City Planning and Urban Design (21-22 September, London). Sarah explained that urban waterfronts are integral to the network of blue and green spaces in our towns and cities and deliver a range of uses, bringing social, environmental, health and economic benefits. The impacts of climate change related sea level rise threaten these mixed-use spaces and the benefits they bring. Sarah’s research investigates how placemaking and blue green infrastructure (BGI) can combine to develop flood resilience on waterfronts while contributing to quality of life, wellbeing and protection against extreme climate change. As part of her presentation at the conference, Sarah introduced her mixed-methods approach, outlining the Papathoma Vulnerability Assessment which was used to generate a unique suite of vulnerability maps for the Dundee and Broughty Ferry waterfronts. These maps will inform a participatory GIS exercise, the outcome of which will guide the location of place-based, blue green infrastructure which will be co-created with stakeholders.

To find out more about Sarah's research and view her KE outputs, please visit the Scholar profile

November 2021

Hydro Nation Scholar Welcome Event - 2022

This month the annual Hydro Nation Scholars Programme welcome event for the new intake of PhD students was held at the Royal Society, Edinburgh. The event is organised by the Hydro Nation International Centre Scotland and provides an opportunity for new Scholars* to be introduced to the programme, their fellow peers, and a wide range of stakeholders from Scotland’s water and research sector.  For the first time in over 2 years the Scholars were able to see each other in person following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic! Our Scholars were formally welcomed by the Programme Director Professor Bob Ferrier (James Hutton Institute), and Deputy Director of Water Policy & DECC Operations Jon Rathgen (Scottish Government). The important role of the Scholars in helping Scotland become the world’s first Hydro Nation through their research, innovation and engagement was highlighted and reaffirmed.

The existing scholars also delivered a group presentation to share their experience of the programme and how to make the most of being part of the Hydro Nation ‘family’. Hydro Nation Alumni scholars Dr. Nazli Koseoglu (James Hutton Institute) and Dr. Lydia Niemi (One Health Breakthrough Partnership) returned to offer their insightful perspectives on how the programme has assisted their career development. A poster session also allowed an opportunity for knowledge exchange between Scholars, their academic supervisors, and stakeholders- and of course a long-awaited chance to catch-up in person!

As part of the extended two-day event scholars had the opportunity to learn more about Scotland’s Water sector through a field trip to the world class Glencorse water treatment works and Scottish Water's Innovation Centre at Bo’ness. These visits enabled an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities in water management in Scotland and highlighted some of the important innovations made in water treatment and reaching net zero carbon emissions. For more information about the work the Scholars are doing please take a virtual tour of their research at the COP26 Hydro Nation Water Pavilion.


*The 2021 intake of scholars includes (full Scholar profiles coming soon):

Sarah Crowe (University of Dundee) - Water smart cities: towards a place-based approach for waterfront management and flood protection

David Bryan (University of Stirling) - Integrated management of Scotland’s agricultural wetlands to deliver multiple benefits and minimise pollution swapping

Daniel Beckmann (University of Stirling) - Using satellite remote sensing and automated in situ sensors to monitor and  predict cyanobacterial blooms in multiple lakes

Anna McWilliam (University of Highlands and Islands) - Innovative brash management to enhance water quality following peatland restoration and forestry operations

Oludare Durodola (University of Aberdeen) - Optimising water use and soil carbon sequestration – can agricultural co-cropping systems provide multiple benefits to address climate change?

Donald Robertson (Strathclyde University) - Citizen-derived digital data for water resources management in Malawi

July 2020

POST note

Scholar acts as an expert contributor and reviewer for POST

Hydro Nation scholar, Kirsty Holstead, recently acted as an expert contributor and reviewer for Westminster’s Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST) at Westminster.

Kirsty provided and reviewed evidence for a policy note for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee relating to community involvement in natural mitigation of flood risk management. She was one of 18 experts chosen in the UK.

Her research on farmers’ perspectives of natural flood management [paper] as well as organisational barriers to flood management in Scotland [paper] were cited in the final note.

  The note finds that:

  1. Natural flood management (NFM) can help mitigate the impacts of smaller, more frequent floods and can be a low-cost option for helping to manage flood risk for smaller communities. 
  2. However, as it is not yet proven to mitigate the impacts of extreme flooding or flooding in large catchments, NFM should be used in conjunction with built flood infrastructure. 
  3. NFM delivers many environmental co-benefits, such as carbon storage, water quality protection and biodiversity enhancement, allowing environmental objectives to be addressed simultaneously. 
  4. Successfully implementing NFM requires working in complex multi-stakeholder partnerships, with local communities and land managers participating in decisions. 
  5. Barriers to the implementation of NFM include a lack of public awareness, administrative barriers, and insufficient long-term incentives for land managers. 

The note and further information can be found here.

Hydro Nation scholar co-authors book chapter

A book containing a chapter co-authored by Hydro Nation Scholar Victoria Porley and her principal supervisor Prof. Neil Robertson has recently been published. The book, entitled “Nanostructured Photocatalysts”, covers a wide range of topics including materials development and the applications of photocatalysts (semiconductor materials which facilitate chemical reactions when illuminated) to solar fuels and environmental remediation, particularly with regards to water treatment. The chapter written by Victoria Porley, “Substrate and support materials for photocatalysis”, explores how immobilising photocatalysts onto solid supports can make the use of this technology in water treatment much more practically feasible and accessible, by covering which support materials are typically used and the appropriate chemical and/or physical processing methods that are associated with these.

Screenshot from video

Sharing findings around pharmaceuticals in the environment

A video on Hydro Nation Scholar Lydia Niemi’s PhD research was made by the Scottish Policy and Research Exchange. This video is part of an initiative to connect researchers and policymakers in Scotland, and aims to facilitate knowledge exchange, increase research impact and improve policy outcomes. Lydia met with representatives from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), and wrote a blog published by SPICe on pharmaceutical pollution in the environment and the significance to current policy in Scotland.

November 2019

aquaNow Audience

The Future of Water Stewardship aquaNow audience

Hydro Nation Scholar Kerr Adams was a panel member on the second panel discussion in this year’s series of aquaNOW Audiences on 11th November at The Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland. The topic was "The Future Of Water Stewardship”.  The discussion took place ahead of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Global Water Stewardship Forum on 12th and 13th November, also in Edinburgh.  More detail on the other panelists can be found here and the full video of the panel discussion is available here.

The Audiences are supported by Scotland: The Hydro Nation and engage international water experts and Scottish expertise in global water-related challenges and solutions.

June 2019

New publication by Hydro Nation Scholar, Yuan Li: Utilizing Low-Cost Natural Waste for the Removal of Pharmaceuticals from Water: Mechanisms, Isotherms and Kinetics at Low Concentrations

Hydro Nation Scholar, Yuan Li is co-author on a paper published in Journal of Cleaner Production entitled: Hydraulic Utilizing Low-Cost Natural Waste for the Removal of Pharmaceuticals from Water:  Mechanisms, Isotherms and Kinetics at Low Concentrations. This paper with co-authorship from various academic institutions outlines how the use of abundant natural wastes as environmentally friendly products promotes a circular green economy and cleaner production.  This publication is available here for download.

UNDRR Global Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, 2019 RISK Award Winner – Hydro Nation Scholar Nandan Mukherjee

Hydro Nation Scholar Nandan Mukerjee a PhD candidate at the University of Dundee received the RISK Award at the closing ceremony of the UNDRR Global Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva on Friday 17 May 2019.

Current approaches for managing coastal disasters often focus on building large-scale engineered constructions. Examples include flood walls, embankments or cyclone shelters on raised platforms. While these initiatives can save lives, they rarely address underlying causes of vulnerability. The 2019 RISK Award shifts that focus to a solution that is more integrated and systemic and helps families to address multiple challenges at once: disaster resilient floating homes in coastal Bangladesh.

For more information on this award, please visit here

HNSP Scholar - Victoria Porley Wins Young Engineer Award 2019

Victoria Porley has won the Young Water Engineering Award for the best oral presentation at the International Water Association 20th Annual Young Water Professionals Conference and will collect her award at the ceremony in London in September 2019. 

To view Victoria's winning presentation please see here.